Sunday, August 1, 2010

Imagination's Gift

You’re sitting at your desk. And you’re fretting. Not about everything but about something that’s been bothering you for a while now. It’s like an ornery sliver under your skin. Something you’d really like to eliminate but you just haven’t figured out how. You close your eyes, hoping to somehow erase it, not realizing you are also clenching your fists. You really want to resolve this.

You open your eyes. Room’s still the same. Then why does it feel different? Your eyes scan around you. No one is there …and then…you see it. Are you going nuts? What? In your office? You decide to go over to it, to see if it’s as real close up as it seems from a distance.

Its faded, colored with a smoky paint brush or with the steam of a hot cup of brew. As you touch it, it feels entirely real. The railing is cool, hard as real metal in your hand. Hell, you say to yourself, why not? And just like that, you start walking, winding up and around in circles like a crazy on a wild trip. You chuckle every time your shoes make a funny ping on the steps.

At the top of the staircase you step onto sand. Beach sand. You take off your shoes and throw them to the side. You walk toward the water. On the near-horizon, you see a boat. It looks like it is coming toward you. Yes, it is.

When it arrives, a beautiful woman in flowing gowns gets off and walks to you. She welcomes you by name and is visibly happy to see you. She tells you they have been waiting for you for a long time. She invites you to board the boat. You do and with the driver, the three of you go out to sea.

A few minutes later, you see the faint outline of an island. Your hair damp with sea water, your face warmed by the sun, you can’t help but smile. You feel safe. You feel good. You even feel a bit excited.

On the dock before you stands a number of people you have loved from your past, all dressed in white and eager to greet you. They welcome you with open arms, telling you how happy they are that you finally decided to visit. You can tell they have been waiting for you for a long time. Your heart swells as they guide you to a large building where more people dressed in white await your arrival.

In the middle of the room is a table. In the center of the table is a box. A white haired elder and someone you know well, either from your past or present, motions for you to pick up the box. You open it. What do you find? What do you feel?

A few minutes later, you thank them. They nod and smile, grateful that you finally came to pick up what was always yours. They invite you to visit again, telling you that your means may be different but your path will remain the same.

Later, after you have reconnected with many you haven’t seen for years, you know its time to board your boat. You say your goodbyes. There are some tears for you know you wont be seeing most of these people again for a very long time. You ride across the sea, the wind licking your face, your hands clutching the box on your lap, your heart swelling with appreciation.

When you say your last goodbyes and make your way down the staircase you suddenly realize that what seemed like an issue to you before, isn’t anymore. You see with great clarity and no worry follows this knowing, just peace. As you sit at your desk again you look over to watch the staircase fade like smoke into air. You smile to yourself, thankful that you haven’t lost your imagination. For without it, your worries would still take center stage, your heart would still be in hiding. No longer are you trapped in a world much smaller than it was ever meant to be. Your vision is bigger now. Much bigger. You touch your new box, feeling the wisdom housed inside. Finally, you remembered to reclaim what you had so long ago forgotten.

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